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#358742 - 08/28/07 07:42 AM "I don't wanna' fight"
Yuushi Offline

Registered: 03/01/06
Posts: 39
Loc: New Hampshire
As you all know, when you teach you get all sorts of students. Well, at my dojo we don't spend much time on fighting. We only do it once every two weeks, if enough people of the required rank show up.

Last week one of our students came in, did the class, but when it was time to spar he just stood there. My instructor questioned him on where his equipment was and he said that he wasn't going to fight. When asked why, he said he didn't feel like it.

My sensei and I talked about it. We know this kid gets hurt easily. I think its because of a fear of fighting, and also that he's lived a sheltered life. Anyway, he's green belt and it's required of him to fight. My sensei and I basically reached the conclusion that well have to talk to him and that we wont be able to promote him unless he fights.

I don't think we're asking much of him. we only fight
once every two weeks and its very light contact.

Just wondering what any of your opinions or thought's may be; how would you handle the situation?

#358743 - 08/28/07 09:18 AM Re: "I don't wanna' fight" [Re: Yuushi]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6665
Loc: Amherst, MA
I think that if he is willing to train in a school/style that insists on 'fighting' to make rank...that he should be willing to stay at green belt forever. But if that means he will not be allowed to learn more than the 'green belt curriculum'...then he should move on to another school/teacher.

His reasons are his own, and he needs to work them out. Until then, just teach.

#358744 - 08/28/07 09:59 AM Re: "I don't wanna' fight" [Re: Yuushi]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA

Anyway, he's green belt and it's required of him to fight. My sensei and I basically reached the conclusion that well have to talk to him and that we wont be able to promote him unless he fights.

That is very fair. If it is part of the curriculum, and he chooses not to do it, then his progress will be halted.
"In case you ever wondered what it's like to be knocked out, it's like waking up from a nightmare only to discover it wasn't a dream." -Forrest Griffin

#358745 - 08/28/07 10:02 AM Re: "I don't wanna' fight" [Re: Yuushi]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5844
Loc: USA

Tough call.

On the one hand I kinda think that your there to learn and you should learn what is being taught--esp if were talking about kids here.

On the other hand, I have a buddy that refuses to do any breaking with his hands as he works in field where any accidental damage to his hands could cost him thousands of dollars a week.
So he has chosen not to test if breaking if breaking is a requirement for testing.

On the other hand he is a adult and has already made his choice--he likes to train, but if he HAS to chose, then he choses not to test.

Is the the first time that he has refused to do this?

I guess if it was me I would agree with Harlan, if the kid does not want to fight, then I would not make him do so.
I would however make it clear that his advancement was limited without doing all the training.

I suppose though that if its only very light sparring and only done every now and then, then is he really missing much?
I have a buddy that whose school only sporadically does Sanchin testing--so the question often gets asked as to how much good it really does.

Could you maybe keep us updated about what happens????
I did battle with ignorance today.......and ignorance won. Huey.

#358746 - 08/28/07 10:41 AM Re: "I don't wanna' fight" [Re: cxt]
Yuushi Offline

Registered: 03/01/06
Posts: 39
Loc: New Hampshire
I will say this boy is 11. It is a young age. He's a good kid and all.

cxt: I understand your friend's reason for not breaking. I accept that more though because its a legitimate reason, thats how he makes his living. My student however, just chooses not to fight. many times during sparring night the boy will "accidentally" forget his gear, now's just the first time he's chosen not to fight.

I would never make a student do something if they didn't want to do it. I'd rather motivate them in some way to make them want to learn or get better. I would like to do that for this boy. I would hate to see him quit, but I don't believe in making exceptions for anyone. I hope that somehow we can motivate this boy to spar.

Thanks everyone, I'll definitely keep you posted.
Now the shugyo begins!

#358747 - 08/28/07 03:31 PM Re: "I don't wanna' fight" [Re: Yuushi]
ironsifu Offline

Registered: 08/17/07
Posts: 37
Loc: sacramento, CA
it will not be fair to promote him if he never learns to fight, and does not get tested on his ability. there is plenty of schools that will do it, so maybe you should have a meeting with his parents, that he should either stick to the training program you have, or fine anouther school. i hope his parents do not support this, because next he will go to high school saying, i dont want to take math....

#358748 - 08/28/07 04:48 PM Re: "I don't wanna' fight" [Re: Yuushi]
GriffyGriff Offline
Good Egg,

Registered: 01/28/04
Posts: 414
Loc: Earth
Is he reasonably coordinated?

The way I used to break people into sparring is to turn it into Paired WarmUps & Linework.

Mawashigeri Warm Ups (Using the Instep)
Both pairs stand Left Foot Forward and should start at 3/4 speed until Warm.
Side 1. Steps up and GENTLY taps the Back of Side 2 with a Mawashigeri, then steps back to their starting position.

As soon as the Kick was felt, Side 2 steps in with their Mawashigeri.

Once the pair have built up momentun/control & trust, then they can up the speed.

10xEach leg Middle Section and High Section.
With High Section, the defender lifts up the back of his hands close to the side of the head as a target.

This gets them to Warm Up & work on their Control/Distancing whilst getting used to being in a controlled sparring environment.


Entry Technique LineWork:
Then I pair them up down the cewntre of the Dojang/Dojo and name one side "1" and the other "2".

I demonstrate an entry technique and have side "1" perform it in a controlled but loose manner on side "2" (With the correct distancing).

Side "2" has to watch How his opponent telegraphs the attack and gently block/parry and THINK about countering.

Side "1" has to concentrate on speed, fluidity, non-telegraphing and control.

Emphasise that this is a Paired Excercise and the Students must work together cooperatively. If they don't then they don't learn anything worthwhile.

The speed of the excercise is controlled by you calling out "1" (and Side 1 attacks, gets blocked and recovers stance & Guard). Then you call "2" and they attack etc.
After 10 reps, change pairs.

I have found that using these types of drills have dulled the emotions and nerves usually associated with sparring.

I hope that wasn't too long winded and hope it helps.
I am NOT homophobic... I am NOT afraid of my own house!

#358749 - 08/28/07 09:12 PM Re: "I don't wanna' fight" [Re: GriffyGriff]
Bushi_no_ki Offline

Registered: 05/03/05
Posts: 1669
Loc: POM, Monterey CA
If he doesn't want to fight, he should take up ballet. He'll get all the same health benefits, and he won't be taking up precious time that could be devoted to students who are there to actually train.

#358750 - 08/29/07 07:43 AM Re: "I don't wanna' fight" [Re: Bushi_no_ki]
Yuushi Offline

Registered: 03/01/06
Posts: 39
Loc: New Hampshire
The boy's mother takes Karate too, but she has some emotional problems and only comes around once a month. Sadly, his father does not support the fighting at all. The father thinks of it as "barbaric" and "unnecessary". You're right Bushi no Ki, were learning how to fight here. This isn't a basket weaving class.

We do plenty of waza exercises. We have them for each rank and they are very similar to what you were saying GriffyGriff. He's decent at all that stuff; waza, kata, two man kata. We eve do bunkai punching and contact drills with our gear on.

I find the whole situation hard to imagine. An 11 year old boy who doesn't want to throw a couple of punches? Blasphemy!... but oh well.
Now the shugyo begins!

#358751 - 08/29/07 08:35 AM Re: "I don't wanna' fight" [Re: Yuushi]
jpoor Offline

Registered: 04/11/07
Posts: 726
Loc: Fairfax, VA
Has anyone really sat down and asked him why he feels that way? It may be something that you can help him work through, or it may be something that should be left alone.

There are plenty of non-sparring schools out there for him to go to if it's that big of a deal for him to pass on the sparring where he's at.

Now, the effectiveness of such schools in the SD world is a hot topic, but there are still plenty of other benefits.
Don't let the white belt fool you. . .
I know even less than you might think.


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